We've been back from Mexico almost two months now, and we've been busy on Nirvana! If you've been following us here or on our Facebook page, you know that we've added our new Plasteak handrails & our new Ipe companionway trim, installed our original traveler, fixed our hard-to-move companionway cover, installed our original bimini frame, and refinished our original exterior teak.
With all of this work in between our jobs, we managed to squeeze in some fun. In October we spent a day with our "kids" (me & our daughter at top of post) at the Madisonville "Wooden Boat" festival. We've been going to this festival off and on for years, and it was a beautiful day to check out the gorgeous wooden boats. There were quite a few from the 1950's and they were like a work of art. While I think these boats are beautiful, I wouldn't want to have to maintain one!
Below is a pic of tiny boats that were constructed earlier that day. Everyone gathered around to see which one would win .. and which ones would sink! Most survived, but a couple took on water.
Below is a view from the bridge of the boats ... wished Nirvana was there!
Towards the end of October, we took a quick getaway to Mississippi. On the way, we stopped at the rest area for hotel coupons and found a great price at a "Days Inn" in Natchez. After driving for about 2 hours, we arrived on a Friday afternoon for an evening along the river. There are restaurants, bars & a casino along the river, which makes for a great night. We even won a few bucks at the blackjack table! Below is a view from the casino ...
The next morning, we filled up on the hotel's free breakfast buffet then drove about an hour to Clark Creek Nature Area. While we'd been to Natchez years ago, Clark Creek was new to us. When searching the internet for a nearby place to enjoy some hiking, Clark Creek got my attention. They have waterfalls! The drive from Natchez to Woodville was beautiful ... we're not used to seeing rolling hills when living in flat Louisiana!
The morning was chilly, which was perfect for a couple of hours of hiking. The admission was based on the honor system ... a box with envelopes to put in a few bucks. The only amenities are a water fountain & bathrooms at the beginning of the trails. Other than that, the trails are pretty primitive and there aren't a lot of signs. I could see how one could get lost! There were quite a few folks on the trails, and I think we were the only ones that didn't have a backpack. We arrived with one water bottle!
The trails were beautiful, and we did see a few waterfalls. Who would have thought this was just hours away from home?!
Notice the hikers on top of the falls ...
There were stairs to get to creek below ...
Notice the bridge at the foot of the hill and the guy about to cross it ...
After about 2.5 hours, we decided to head back to the car. There were a lot more trails to hike, but after seeing a few waterfalls and knowing that we had a lot of uphill hiking to get back to the car ... we decided to head back. We arrived home about 2.5 hours later .. just in time for dinner on a Saturday night. We really enjoyed this getaway ... it was quick, cheap, beautiful & a great way to relieve some stress. We'd definitely do this again!
Before we knew it, we were back to work. Ken & I are already wanting another escape! We've both been busy at work, and I have a closing this Friday .. this will be a great gift for my 50th birthday this Sunday! My client gave me this seashell that she made ... I thought it was ironic since she has no idea that we own a sailboat or have plans to cruise. I guess it's fate! Oh, and the silver earrings were bought on Isla Mujeres .. love them!
Oh, and we finally get our grades on our navigation course exam .. I made a 92 and Ken made a 97. I guess that means we'll find our way! This course by the Sail & Power Squadron is really thorough and we'd recommend it.
Since this quick trip, we've built & stained (used plywood instead of teak) a new salon bulkhead, shelf, divider, v-berth wooden panel & qtr berth wooden panel to replace the rotten ones on Nirvana. We also installed new stereo speakers & a new manual bilge pump in the cockpit & spent several days cleaning & sanding our badly worn interior teak. Ken is almost done applying 2 coats of satin polyurethane to the new plywood and all of the interior teak (posts soon). We're getting really excited, as Nirvana is looking so much better!
New manual bilge pump ... a Whale Gusher Urchin
It won't be long until we can start making Nirvana our home! We've ordered LED lights and I can't wait to bring the salon cushions back from my Dad's place in Missisippi. I don't sew, but I'm thinking of covering and stapling the cushions with an off-white fabric .. something easy to clean. But first, we're going to clean the water tanks that I just emptied and replace all the funky plumbing fixtures & hoses.
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!